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Mediadgecia creates MEC Interaction

14 June, 2005

Mediaedge:cia (MEC), a leading media communications specialist company and part of WPP's media investment management company GroupM, has formed a new specialist unit, MEC Interaction, merging all of MEC’s online and offline lead generation activities under a single banner, effective immediately. The new unit consists of Wunderman Media, The Digital Edge and Outrider, and will be headed by Rob Norman as Worldwide Chief Executive Officer. Norman was previously Chairman of Mediaedge:cia UK and CEO of Outrider Worldwide.

The Digital Edge (TDE), MEC’s online media planning and buying division; Outrider,

MEC’s search marketing group; and Wunderman Media, MEC’s direct response media planning and buying unit, will become integral parts of MEC Interaction. Outrider will continue to operate as a global search specialist.

Alan Schanzer, formerly TDE’s Managing Partner, will oversee MEC Interaction as Managing Partner, MEC Interaction North America, with Sarah Hammel, formerly Wunderman Media’s Finance Director, as Senior Partner, Finance Director. Both will report to Norman.

"The uniting of these three expert businesses forms the center of excellence for an integrated acquisition practice focused on increasing the productivity of media communications, reinforcing Mediaedge:cia’s commitment to channel neutral, totally integrated communications planning and implementation," said Charles Courtier, MEC Executive Chairman Worldwide.

The management team at MEC Interaction also consists of:

• Chris Copeland, formerly Outrider’s Partner and Managing Director, now overseeing Search Engine marketing for MEC Interaction as Managing Partner, Practice Lead

• Jeanne Burkle, Maureen McKillop and Jean Scanlon as Senior Partner, Practice Leads. Formerly Group Media Directors for Wunderman Media, they will manage MEC Interaction’s offline direct marketing specialists.

• Carrie Frolich and Todd Fraipont as Senior Partners, Practice Leads for online areas. Frolich, formerly Group Director for TDE, will manage MEC Interaction’s online specialists in New York, Chicago and Detroit. Fraipont, formerly West Coast Director of Strategy for TDE, will handle the online speciality in MEC’s offices in Irvine and Los Angeles, CA.

• Greg Rogers as Partner, Director of Insights and Analytics. Formerly Director, Strategy & Insights for TDE, Rogers will lead development of combined analytics between all of MEC Interaction’s specialty functions.

• Matt Straznitskas as Senior Partner, Director of Business Development. Formerly Senior Partner, Special Services for TDE, Straznitskas will manage all business growth and new business opportunities for MEC Interaction.

• Alice Minetti, as Senior Partner, Director of DRTV Buying. Formerly Senior Partner, Director of DRTV Buying for Wunderman Media.

"MEC Interaction represents the total capability of all three brands and sums up the unified goal of our new unit – to identify interaction points between brands and consumers while enhancing the prospects of a sale," Courtier said. "Whether the consumer response is through a toll-free number, a Web site, text messaging, downloaded content or snail mail, the new MEC Interaction has the ability to do it all for clients. And Rob Norman, with his prior experience as head of Outrider and as a unifier for all of MEC’s UK entities, is the perfect leader to tie the one-to-one disciplines together, both in the US and across the MEC network."

"We now live in a world of not just one communication channel, but many, and consumers use and interact with these multiple channels simultaneously," noted Norman. "These interactions create measurable data streams. By merging MEC’s 3 units, we are better able to leverage the company’s understanding of consumer behavior to our clients’ benefit."

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